Anatomy of the Perfect Double Date

When you’re a part of a couple, finding other couples to hang out with is a surprisingly difficult task. Either you love the girl and your boyfriend has nothing to talk about with the guy, or maybe your boyfriends are hitting it off and you’re just sitting there going, “So….” Over the course of our relationship, Chris and I have had a few couple friends. We still hang out with one of the pairs, but the others have slowly fallen off the face of the earth. They broke up or moved away, or we realized that we just didn’t have much in common.

This past weekend, we went on a double date and it was (as Borat would say) great success. Chris and I used to work with the guy (Chris still does) and he brought his girlfriend along. I was nervous, because I literally knew nothing about her. I’m kind of shy when I first meet someone, so I normally like to have a few topics in mind to discuss so as to avoid awkward silence, but it appeared that that was not going to be possible. Luckily this wasn’t a problem since the girlfriend was really talkative and friendly, making it easy to get to know her. We saw Frank Caliendo do standup comedy and had a great time. To make things interesting, some man started choking in the middle of the show and someone had to do the Heimlech and call 911. Don’t worry, he was fine and laughing about it later.

As I was thinking about this successful double date, I realized that we were able to avoid some of the major double date faux paus. These include:

  • Going out with a couple that is too affectionate: When you go out with another couple and they are pawing each other the whole time, it starts to get weird really quickly. You end up feeling like you’re creepily observing them at home alone or on a date together. It starts to feel like you’re interrupting something.
  • The other couple fights: While too much PDA is uncomfortable, it’s even worse if the couple begins to fight or is clearly having some issue during your outing. The ideal double date is with a couple that gets along well, but isn’t afraid to tease and joke.
  • You have nothing in common: You don’t need to love all of the same shows and work in the same industry, but if one or both of the other people are completely and totally different from you, it’s going to be a long night.
  • You choose the wrong activity: Just like a first date with someone you’re interested in, you need to pick the right kind of activity for a first double date. Part of the reason our date went so well was that we choose a great activity. There was time to talk and get to know each other before the comedy show started, but we weren’t sitting at a dinner just staring at each other, running out of conversation topics before the entrees came. We were in an environment with plenty of outside stimuli. We could comment on how crowded the club was, that weird Looney Tunes tie that guy was wearing, and our favorite parts of the show. That really helped to get conversation going as we all got comfortable with one another. While too much time for chatting can become stressful, you also don’t want to go out to a movie. You spend the whole time in silence, and barely get to know one another. Choose an activity that leads to natural conversation starters. You need enough time to talk, but not so much that you feel pressure to keep a conversation alive for hours. Other great double date ideas include bowling or attending a sporting event.

Do you go on double dates? What do you think makes them a success?

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